Today we’re going to talk about one of the dried fruits most consumed around the world. It is the sunflower seeds. The sunflower is a plant originating from America and was discovered about the year 1000 B.C. The Spanish introduced the sunflower into Europe early in the SIXTEENTH century. It is a culture very well known and marketed throughout the world, since the sunflower seeds have beneficial properties.
In this post you will learn everything you need to know about the cultivation of the sunflower, the properties of the pipes and their main features.
Features of the sunflower
To know the properties of the sunflower seeds, we have to first know the plant that produces it. The sunflower is an annual plant whose height is usually up to 3 meters. The stem is straight and cylindrical in shape. The leaves are oblong and leathery of about 50 centimeters long and 30 wide. They are very famous for being able to “follow” the sun. Its golden yellow colour resembling the daisy, but of a large size.
During the summer months open and continue to the orientation of the sun. Inside the flower you can see small flowers forming a disk. Are these tiny flowers that give the fruit is edible and known as sunflower seeds. Depending on the variety of each plant, you can buy one color or another.
How it is grown
To grow sunflowers is a need for a space quite wide, as the plant reaches a lot of height. Can be planted both in orchards and in gardens. To part of to pick up the sunflower seeds as a result, also serve for decoration thanks to its large colorful. If you have a small garden at home, it is advisable to choose those smaller varieties to achieve a growth more healthy.
The sunflower seeds should be planted in the spring months. The higher temperatures contribute to better development. This plant does not withstand the cold, or cloudy days. As their name indicates, require many hours of sun. The sowing can be done in a large pot or directly in the ground. It is advisable to mix the substrate with vermiculite to enhance drainage and nutrient retention capacity.
Once we’ve sown the seeds, you need to water abundantly and keep the soil moist to germinate properly. If you have planted in pots, should be monitored more continuously the risks. Usually, they tend to sprout in about three weeks.
Place and method of cultivation
To choose the place where you are going to plant the sunflower, you have to watch that at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. In addition, if you are going to plant in the ground directly, it is better to leave a separation between a plant and a plant of 20 centimeters. This will help to share best nutrients of the substrate and the water.
The sunflowers are planted in rows separated by 70 cm of distance. When paid, the plant was grateful enough to those rich in nitrogen. When they reach maturity are oriented to the east, to be able to collect all the sun possible throughout the day.
The sunflower is perfect for urban gardens because you can involve the children in the care of the same. Generally, they are crops very attractive and easy to care for and the children love its fruit.
Properties of the sunflower seeds
The sunflower seeds are a good food that contains multiple health benefits. Among its properties we find:
- It has a high content of vitamin E. 76% of the recommended daily amount of this vitamin can be covered with the sunflower seeds. In addition, it is a good antioxidant for the health of the eyes. Is the fruit dry with more content in this vitamin.
- It helps to combat stress and anxiety, since they have theanine and cysteine. They are also recommended for patients with parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementias, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reduces the risk of cancer.
- Contains a high content of vitamins of group B, this is found in sunflower seeds american a great deal. It is used as a complex of revitalizing and anti-aging.
Pests and diseases
As almost all of the plants, the sunflower can also be affected by pests and diseases. It is essential to have good planning to avoid this kind of situations and obtain a good productivity. The cultivation of sunflower has a use multiple and need to protect it to get all the benefits.
Although not presents serious phytosanitary problems, there are risks disease that can destroy crops and lose it. Some insects of the earth often cause serious losses in these plants. It’s about worms white wire and gray.
They also affect some larvae of butterflies, biting insects, or the well known white fly. These insects are pests that appear in isolation, but if they are not handled properly, will affect most crops.
To try the sunflower it is important to sanitize the entire affected area and not just the plant. This is done so that it does not harm the seeds or the rest of the plants.
Among the most important diseases that we can find the sunflower, we have:
- Rot damp. It is recognized because they appear in environments of moisture and warm temperature. Affect the stem, and destroy the vessels that transport wise. By not being able to eat the sunflower dies.
- Verticillium wilt. It is a disease that affects from the base of the stem. Causes necrosis in stems and leaves. The sunflower seeds will not be suitable for consumption.
- Canker of the stem. It appears at the moment that produces the seeds. You can see spots in the shape of a V in the leaves. Is caused by an excessive fertilization outside of the times of sowing.
- Downy mildew of sunflower. This disease causes dwarfism in plants. Its color is affected and their growth is much slower than normal. As you go along the growth of mildew, the spores grow and form structures cottony.
The sunflower seeds are all a product marketed in the world. However, has some problems like these.
The article Properties and the cultivation of the sunflower seeds has originally been published in Gardening On.